C4b. Downstream Global Research Policy

Engagement in Global Research-Policy Debates

BikeTransportingCropC4 work addresses the entire agrifood system, including “upstream” policy issues that affect on-farm production and practices (C4a), and “downstream” policy issues that affect players along the value chain, from the farmgate to the plate (C4b).

C4b: Agrifood System Transformation in the Downstream and Implications for Linkages to the Upstream

Research and engagement work under this component is focused on documenting the rapid changes underway in agrifood systems, and helping policy-makers design programs and policies that promote rapid but equitable growth in the systems. Key drivers of this transformation are rapid growth in per capita incomes and urbanization. These drivers result in the rapid rise in demand for food through markets as opposed to own production, and the rising demand for processed and perishable foods as opposed to grains and staple root crops.

The combination of these forces is creating enormous agribusiness opportunities for local entrepreneurs, which promise to make important contributions to continued growth and to employment. Thus, a special focus of work in this sub-component is on the challenges to promoting the ability of small- and medium-size food processing firms to compete in local and regional markets. This competitiveness will depend on the overall enabling environment within which these firms operate. Thus policies and programs that promote such enabling environment in the “downstream” are immensely important in promoting the agrifood system transformation.